I crafted this cocktail to be the perfect balance of sweet, tart and warm as a perfect intro-to-fall drink. It combines the sweetness of Demerara syrup countered by the tart bite of muddled lemon and blackberries and our house-made basil-pear shrub, while our choice bourbon warms the soul.
The name is half a tribute to another popular bourbon-based cocktail I created for Sycamore called “It’s never too early” as well as the fact that I am a procrastinator, oftentimes waiting until the last minute to get things done.
Melanie Lising is a bartender at Sycamore in Columbia.
Better Late Than Never
- 2 ounces of bourbon of choice
- 1 ounce basil-pear shrub
- ½ ounce Demerara syrup
(Demerara syrup – Boil equal parts demerara sugar and water until sugar dissolves. Let cool.)
- Garnish of blackberries and lemon wedges
- 2 pears, cubed
- ½ cup chopped basil (lightly packed)
- ¼ cup sugar
- ¼ cup water
- Bring to a boil, let cool, strain liquid and press the fruit through the strainer. Divide the liquid in half and add one part rice wine vinegar to 2 parts basil-pear syrup.
Use any type of cocktail glass you’d like to assemble. First muddle two blackberries and a lemon wedge, pour in the cocktail, add ice and stir. Serve up or on the rocks (I prefer up) and enjoy!